Have you ever been shopping for a place to rent, only to find that it is much more difficult than expected. You have the money, you found just the right place, but for some unexplainable reason, it is no longer available. It can be very frustrating. It is not just renters who face challenges finding a place to live. Even home buyers can face difficulty when looking for a place to buy. Many times, this is just part of the supply and demand in a tight housing market. Other times, however, discrimination and federal housing laws might be violated.
If you believe you have been discriminated against, you should speak with a Birmingham fair housing lawyer. The attorneys of Fonteneau & Arnold, LLC have decades of experience fighting for victims of discrimination. Here is how to tell if a property manager or landlord is violating your rights under fair housing laws.
Tell Tale Signs of Housing Discrimination
If you are looking for a place to rent or buy, and you hear any of the following, you might be dealing with unfair discrimination:
- Landlord tells you the property “just rented,” even though the listing remains up
- Landlord asks to see your “papers” or a “green card”
- They tell you they do not allow children or they have a “limit” on the number of children allowed in a building
- A realtor keeps making excuses for why he or she can not show a particular home to you
- Asking for larger deposits due to you having children
- You are told they can not rent to you due to a past history of alcohol or drug abuse
- Asking you to sign extra or unique paperwork or agreements relating to children, noise, music, or even types of food that can be prepared in the home
- Applications with questions about race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity or orientation, and so forth
- Veteran status (in certain cases, this may be a pretext for discriminating against those with service-connected disabilities)
While most of these are not automatic violations of housing laws, they are certainly good indicators that a problem may exist.
What is Protected Under Federal Housing Laws?
A landlord, homeowner, property manager, realtor, or broker cannot discriminate based on:
- National Origin
- Sexual orientation and/or identity
- Family status (having children, marital status, etc.)
How Does the Law Protect You?
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers unique protections for all Americans. One way the law does this is by ensuring that all people have a right to be treated fairly in the search for safe and secure housing. The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity was created to regulate and enforce fair housing standards on a national level. Those who suffer discrimination by landlords, property managers, brokers, and others in the real estate industry, should contact an experienced attorney right away to find out if they may have a claim for housing discrimination. Often, victims may be entitled to seek compensation for civil rights violations involving housing discrimination.
If you suspect that you have been the victim of housing discrimination, you can contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your situation today. The call is free, so you have nothing to lose by reaching out to us to learn more.